LXI ARCHITECTURE UNDER MONGOLS 237
cent portico is an inscription in large white letters on
a dark-blue ground which struck me as most beautiful.
I give a translation, as it is typical and of historical
" Her Highness, the Noble in Greatness, the Sun of
the Heaven of Chastity and Continence, Famous for
Nobility and Honour and Piety, Gauhar Shad, may her
Greatness be eternal, and may her Chastity endure and
may her Charity increase with true Thought and high,
and with Pious Intent of Heart of Lofty Ideal for
fulfilling and accomplishing her hopes in Allah, may He
accept it; from her private property for the benefit of
her future state and for the Day on which the Works of
every one will be judged, with Zeal for Allah and with
desire to please Allah and with Thankfulness for the
Benefits of Allah and for Praise of the Benefits granted
by Allah, built this Great Masjid-i-Jami, the Holy House,
in the era of the reign of the Great Sultan, and the more
Just Khakan, the more Generous, the Lord of Rulers of
the Arabs and of Ajam, the Sultan, son of a Sultan, the
Father of Victory, Shah Rukh, son of Timur Gurkani,
Bahadur Khan. May Allah make eternal his Kingdom
and Empire ! And may he increase on the inhabitants
of the world his Goodness, his Justice and his Generosity !
Thus may Allah accept her work with beneficent accept-
ance and may He bless her with His choice blessings
and may He grant her the greater of the boons which He
has promised to the good ! Baisunghur, son of Shah
Rukh, son of Timur Gurkani, wrote this inscription with
hope in Allah in 821 (1418)."
No description of this great mosque would be com-
plete without a reference to the "Mosque of the Old
Woman." The legend runs that an old dame who
owned a tiny plot of the land required by Gauhar Shad
declined to sell it at any price, but insisted that a separate
mosque should be erected on it. To the eternal credit
of the Royal Consort this unreasonable demand was
complied with, and the " Mosque of the Old Woman "
testifies to the fact.
I have visited Samarcand and have studied its splendid